By Frederick H. Lowe
A white Chicago cop, who shot to death a black college student and his innocent bystander neighbor on December 26, 2015, after being called to the building to settle an argument between father and son, will not face any charges, the Cook County State’s Attorney ruled earlier this month.
Officer Robert Rialmo shot to death Quintonio LeGrier, a 19-year-old engineering student who attended Northern Illinois University, and, Bettie Jones, a mother and grandmother suffering from ovarian cancer, who lived downstairs from LeGrier and his father, Antonio Le Grier, the building’s landlord.
The 56 year-old Jones, who was active in Action Now, a group that works with the police, was shot once by Rialmo.
Antonio LeGrier called the police about his son, and he asked Jones to let the police into the building at 4710 W. Erie in the Garfield Park neighborhood. Quintonio also called police three times seeking help but his call was not properly handled by a 911 operator.
Rialmo claims he shot and killed Quintonio Le Grier after he charged at him with a metal baseball bat. The cop fired eight shots at LeGrier, hitting him seven times. One of the shots killed Jones.
The Cook County State’s Attorney ruled that Rialmo was legally justified in using deadly force against LeGrier because the teenager was armed with a baseball bat.
Rialmo also can’t be charged for the death of Jones because under Illinois law, when an individual acts in self defense and accidentally kills a bystander, he is not criminally liable for the bystander’s death, the Cook County State’s Attorney ruled.